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Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 238

Yeah, the TV was state of the art when I got it, replaced a 34" CRT. Since then I'm boycotting Sony because of the Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal. Every now and then they come out with something really nice that I would otherwise be tempted to buy, but I don't because of that dick move they did. They deserved to go out of business at the time, and I'm still hoping they will.

I must have bought that TV back around 2003 - at the time a good plasma would have cost at least $10,000, would have been 780p instead of 1080p, and would have been thicker and used a lot more power. So, at the time it seemed like a good tradeoff even if the black level left a lot to be desired.

Comment Re:Cold weather? (Score 1) 198

What happens then? Does cold weather affect battery performance? Without an internal combustion engine, the only way to get heat in the cabin is via electricity, which is going to impose a considerable burden on the battery.

Not really...Consider this, if the battery is powerful enough to drive the car around for miles then powering a little heater and fan isn't going to tax it that much. I'm driving my Nissan LEAF in Pennsylvania in 20 degree F weather this week and I drove it all through last winter too. There is an ~10-20% hit to the range in colder weather, but the heater [and my heated steering wheel] isn't that big of deal, certainly no more than running the AC in the summer. It gets along just fine. In fact, last winter I jumped my wife's Honda Accord car with my LEAF when her battery died on a very cold morning... in that regard, EVs are more reliable to at least start in the cold.

I drive a Honda Fit EV and have a slightly different experience. In cold weather (it's been around 0 here in Boston the last few days) I lose about 50% of my range if I don't use the electric cabin heater. I attribute this to:

1) Denser air increasing aerodynamic drag (happens to ICE cars as well)
2) Can't charge the battery to the full 19kwh

Later versions of the Leaf use a heat pump rather than just a resistive cabin heater, so that may explain why your Leaf does better than my Fit. I believe the Tesla uses heat from either the battery pack or electric motor to help warm the cabin - I'm sure a Tesla person will jump in and correct me.

My point is that a compliance car like the Fit EV (so, I'm curious about the Bolt) can take a huge hit if you try to keep the cabin warm. I find that I lose about 1 mile per khw if I keep the cabin at about 65F, my daughter tends to keep it 70-75F when she's driving around town, and that can eat up another mile/kwh...

My only purpose for posting is that this is something that EV manufacturers need to keep in mind - seems like Tesla may have done the best job of this, Nissan addressed it a couple years into production, and some compliance cars don't do anything special and it can make them much less useful during winter months in northern states.

Comment Re:Still a bit much (Score 1) 238

and then I bought a 4K LED backlit LCD with full dimming

I'm waiting for the OLED price to drop a bit (and hope that any kinks get worked out), but the reason I don't want to replace my old shitty-contrast LED TV is that the local dimming ones bother me - in lots of images I see the local dimming effect as an artifact, and it drives me crazy. I'll see a scene where it's apparent and suddenly I'm no longer watching the movie, I'm looking at the screen for more artifacts.

Am I the only one this bothers?

Comment Re:Still a bit much (Score 1) 238

To be fair the "article" does mention Sony's OLED TVs

Not really replying to what you said just responding to the "Sony" part; I currently have a ~12 year old Sony, and they make some good stuff, but when they did the root kit thing in 2005 I swore I would never buy another piece of Sony gear, and I'm sticking with that... They deserved to go out of business over that snafu, so I'll just keep buying stuff from their competition and hope they eventually go out of business.

Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

Comment Re:But we got a TV in 2015 (Score 1) 238

Not surprising that you might not notice. Question is, would a photographer/graphic designer/architect/interior designer/ etc. notice? Certainly as a part time photographer I notice it a lot!

The other thing is that people are amazingly good at getting used to crap. Many years ago when TVs were all CRTs I was visiting a friend. There was clearly a problem with his TV because the image was very very green. I asked him about it and he didn't know what I was talking about. He had gotten used to it and saw it as "normal". I couldn't believe that he didn't see how screwed up the picture was.

There are clearly changes which are very subtle that the average person won't notice. 4K is probably an example of that, except in very large screens. If you walk an average person into a room with an LED set, and then walk them into a room with an OLED set, yeah, lots of them won't notice, whereas if you show them side by side they probably will notice. It really is a huge difference in image quality, so just because you're used to LED crap, doesn't mean that OLED isn't a big improvement...

Would I pay $4K right now? No, especially because the light output is lower than LED and my screen is in a bright room. But when it hits $2K for a 65 or 70 inch screen, I'll probably upgrade from my LED.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 238

It is a larger change from the Plasma -> LCD switch that happened years ago.

People changed from plasma to LCD? Not me - plasma looks great. LCD looks washed out and can't display black.

So, isn't that exactly the point? OLED gets you most of the visual improvements of Plasma without some of the drawbacks (power, depth).

But it's an incremental upgrade in quality. Clearly most people don't care much about color fidelity, or LCD never would have taken off. Compared to plasma, OLED has some incremental advantages, mostly lower power consumption.

Well, in addition to power consumption, how about price, weight and depth? (and, knowing people, it was probably mostly price).

One remaining problem with OLED is light output. I think it's about 1/2 of a LED display. It's an issue for some people: my tv is in a room that's a wall of glass... so, even the LED is pretty unwatchable during certain hours of the day, which is fine: I only watch it at night so it works out okay, but lots of people probably value the light output over the darker blacks.

Personally, I paid $5K for an early Sony Bravia LED and the black level is pretty horrible, so I've been waiting for OLED, mostly for the prices to drop but also for the technology to become more mature. This might be the year that I pull the trigger.

Comment Re:That's not a lot of vehicles (Score 1) 179

Yeah.... you are a genius for making this comparison. Nothing has changed in 100 years to make ramping up a car company easier.

Not sure if you're implying that it's easier now to ramp up a car company? I would have guessed the opposite: lots more governmental regulations to meet now. You obviously couldn't bring a Model T car to market today - it would fail on so many fronts it would be crazy to try. Also, people's expectations of even a basic car are pretty high now. No electric start? No air conditioning? No AM/FM/BT/SAT/USB entertainment system? People have pretty high expectations even for a basic car.

Additionally, when the Model T was introduced, there was a huge market of first time buyers available (most people didn't have cars). Now, not so much...

Comment Re:Pointless (Score 1) 531

Carnival get's the leftovers, who will complain when poked. There are very few talented people working there for long.

Well, that may be true, but I wonder whether it's because of the qualifications of the staff, or whether the environment sucks so bad that the good people leave after a short stay. If so, that's the company selecting for poor employees.

I'm not IT, but any modern company who treats it as mere overhead does so at their own peril. Remember back in June when SouthWest had computer issues? "Flight delays across our network have resulted in 600-700 canceled and delayed flights". That cost the airline a lot of money and hassle.

Then you think about companies being hacked... you can literally bankrupt the company if you are hacked big time.

Does every IT department need to be all A-Team people? No, and in fact people like that might end up being bored in some shops. But a good solid team that can be depended on for reliable uptime and quick reaction when stuff does go wrong? Seems pretty important to me.

And offshoring like Carnival is doing? Why would you want to put the fate of the company in some external company that you have no control over day-to-day? Yeah, great, you can fire them when a major IT problem hurts you, and you might even be able to recover some of the losses in a lawsuit, but me, I'd much rather put together a solid team of people who have loyalty to the company and can be depended upon to do a good solid job.

Comment Re:Shoe on other foot (Score 1) 531

Until the robot factories are mass producing killdroids, the people still have the edge in terms of power.

So, say, 6 months from now :-(

Seriously, we're already pretty far down the road of marginalized citizens, and no major riots yet. As much as I'd like to see people stand up and not take it anymore, I'm not holding my breath.

Comment Re:The business model (Score 1) 531

I totally agree. We have the worst of all worlds: we're paying top dollar for mediocre care. We should just look around, see how other countries are doing it, and pick one to copy. I don't care if it's Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, Sweden; just pick one that seems to be working and emulate it. 'Cause the system we have sure as heck isn't working for most people (and as you say - even for businesses except for the healthcare companies).

Comment Re:Why not spin off their own company? (Score 1) 531

heheh... reminds me of the startup I was at... they brought in a jerk who didn't do his research and started making hasty decisions. As soon as he showed up I started looking, so luckily was gone by the time he sacked the guy in charge of all the servers. (not really IT, but close enough). Too bad they forgot to get the passwords from him before they sacked him.

Then they tried to go back to the guy and get the passwords - don't remember if they offered him money or not, but to his credit he gave them a nice big "fuck you".

Ah, fond memories!

Comment Re:Pointless (Score 1) 531

A few points...

I was at a company that bought a startup/product, let the original guys go, and sent it to India. They tried the "one smart guy who runs the India team". That didn't work, and when they were in jeopardy of being in breach of contract to the tune of several million dollars, they then had to hire a local American team to fix what the Indian team had done.

The thing is, the Indian team didn't cost *that* much less. They could have had a smaller American team from the start for about the same amount of money and they would have avoided the crap that the India engineers wrote. It was like watching a high school kid write code (and the hardware they designed wasn't any better).

But, you know, it probably gets the CEO a bonus at the end of the year because he made the bottom line look briefly better.

Back when Japan was the big competitor that everybody worried about, I was at a startup that didn't make it, and they arranged for the technology group to be sold off to a Japanese company (basically so that engineers would keep their jobs - really good E staff at our company). The point though, is that the Japanese company could articulate their plans not for the next quarter or next year, but for years ahead. They were playing for long term, not short term. Saving a few bucks a quarter so the CEO can give himself a bigger bonus is not the long term way to succeed, but CEOs aren't playing for the company, they're (mostly) in it for themselves. They have no more loyalty for the company than they have for the employees they screw over.

What message does it send when a company like Carnival pulls a dick move like this? They'll have all this great HR stuff about how much they value their employees, but after watching what happens to the IT staff, everybody else realizes what the score really is. And guess what? The remaining people end up with absolutely no loyalty for the company, doing the minimum required to get by, and screw the company. When the employee has to make a decision that might be good for him, but bad for the company... guess which way the decision will go? And the company will absolutely deserve it! If it's everybody for themselves then don't be surprised when the employees goals aren't the same as yours!

There was a local company in the Boston area (Digital Equipment Corporation) who had an amazing CEO. Talk to people who worked for this company and they'll all tell you stories about Ken Olsen. How much he cared about the employees and basically "doing the right thing". Now, hey, they're out of business... but same thing happened to a bunch of their competitors - basically the PC killed them. But the point is, people knew that Ken cared about the little guy. Example: he noticed in one building that all the managers had grabbed the window offices and all the rest of the staff were stuck in the middle with no outside view from their cubicles. At most companies people would have said "yeah, managers are more senior, of course they get the better offices". Instead Ken issued an edict that there would be NO window offices, that only corridors could be next to windows, so that *everybody* could leave their cubicle and look outside for a couple minutes during their workday. Cost the company nothing, but got a lot of goodwill from the employees. There were a ton of stories like that about the guy.

Many modern CEOs don't get how important that is. I worked my butt off when I was at that company and one of the reasons was that I knew Ken Olsen cared about me, a lowly engineer, and so I damn well cared about him and his company and I did my best to make them succeed (which they did while I was there!).

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